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Trans-Tasman Proceedings Law Reform

Readers involved in Trans-Tasman Australian or New Zealand practice will be interested to know that the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Bill 2009 has been passed by the Australian Parliament. The legislation implements the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand on Trans-Tasman Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement, signed on 24 July 2008. A copy of the Bill and explanatory memorandum may be found here. Reciprocal legislation is before the New Zealand Parliament.

The legislation will change various aspects of Trans-Tasman practice. Among other things, the legislation:

  • allows civil initiating process issued in Australian courts to be served in New Zealand without leave;
  • broadens the range of New Zealand judgments that can be enforced in Australia to include non-money judgments, civil pecuniary penalties and certain fines; and
  • replaces the ‘clearly inappropriate forum’ test for forum non conveniens with a ‘more appropriate forum’ test when New Zealand is involved.

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